How did you your pants get tattered?
It was fun to sink the sharp point into the hem of my shorts and rip forward. It tattered my shorts and made them look cool.
It was a good find for me the day I discovered mom's stitch ripper. It was close to being a knife, so this young boy of 12 years of age was all about using this device to cut things. A few days later when mom did the wash and approached me with a pair of tattered shorts did I realize there was a problem. Apparently, I wasn't supposed to cut (destroy) my shorts. She asked me, "What happened to these shorts? How did they get ripped?"
“But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find
you out." (Numbers 32:23, NIV)
Have you been driving on a road at night and encountered a deer? That was the look on my face the day mom confronted me about the shorts. I did what anyone caught in a crisis would do. I lied! My fabrication went something like, "Oh, I was out climbing in the apple tree and the shorts got caught on a sharp broken limb of the tree." That lie would have been great except, I had ripped the shorts in about six other places. Mom's next query was the one that forced me into a corner. She said, "These tears are really precise; are you sure the tree limb did this?"
The key piece to lying is sticking with your story; that and having a good memory to remember the fabrication one has created. Remembering all the twists and turns of a lie is crucial. Eventually, I came clean and admitted I had purposely destroyed my shorts with her stitch ripper. I was held accountable for my action and learned a valuable lesson that day. It wasn't a lesson of not climbing in apple trees with sharp broken branches. It was a lesson of telling the truth even if it causes me pain or embarrassment.
For the past week and a half, I have been following the US swimmer who first said he and his teammates were robbed then came clean to say something totally different occurred. The clash in the media has fallen across the lines between lying and embellishing an account. Here are two definitions that run parallel to the same idea.
embellish - (imˈbeliSH) verb
1. to increase the interest of (a story etc) by adding (untrue) details. The soldier embellished the story of his escape.
2. to make beautiful with ornaments etc. uniform embellished with gold braid.
lie [lahy] noun
1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
Synonyms: prevarication, falsification. Antonyms: truth.
2. something intended or serving to convey a false impression;imposture:
His flashy car was a lie that deceived no one.
3. an inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood.
4. the charge or accusation of telling a lie:
He flung the lie back at his accusers.
verb (used without object), lied, lying.
5. to speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly, as with intent to deceive.
Synonyms: prevaricate, fib.
6. to express what is false; convey a false impression.
In both words, there is an attempt to avoid truth and a willingness to enhance something that isn't there. When truth is set aside in order to preserve an image then destruction isn't far away. When details that never occurred are added to an event then one's memory needs to shift into high gear to remember the details of this highway to hell.
Today is a new day to choose truth over deceit. It is another day to own our words and actions even if it causes us pain or embarrassment. Don't embellish and don't lie. A mundane life is fine without embellishments and a life of integrity is valued more than all the gold in the world. Just ask Ryan.